all of the selves we Have ever been
It is the first snowfall of the season.
Through my window it is a wonderland of undisturbed white powder and winter quiet. This beautiful landscape portrait conceals the blistering wind that strikes my cheeks and the thick, crunchy ice that causes my feet to slip and slide as I step outside to warm up the car.
When I was young, I wondered why older adults went to Florida for the winter. It seemed to me that the heat, humidity, and bugs would be a deterrent to anyone still in her right mind. Perhaps my mind is no longer right. Sunny locations with clear, dry roads sound lovely. Cruising around tropical islands and sipping sweet drinks from a pineapple don’t sound too bad either.
Cruises can be expensive, and with COVID and its many variants circulating, they are also a bad idea. While my mind may no longer be right, I do seem to recall a certain inexpensive cruise line that promises restoration of the spirit. That would kill two birds with one stone—help me to succeed with my New Year’s resolution and get me away from it all. Did I mention that it is also affordable? There is no need to contact a travel agent. How does it work? You climb into your bathtub, say the magic words: Calgon, take me away! And you have set sail.
I remember the ads and the foil covered cardboard boxes that sometimes sat on the edge of our bathtub at home. I’m not sure if my mom got to sail away that often. A military wife and working woman with four children didn’t have much time to sit down. The box may have offered some hope or a chance to dream, but it was we children who poured far too much of the magic powder into the tub and used up all of the fragrant journeys.
I rarely take a bath any more. I am strictly a shower person unless I am nursing some pain. Even then, I am reluctant to sit down in the tub. Seems like too much trouble, the getting in and the getting out, and the cleaning up. Takes too much time, too. That’s way too long to be naked at my age, not to mention my general sagging condition. What if something sticks to the porcelain? As I grow older, I am hounded by doctors, nurses, and ads reminding me that I could slip and fall. The bathtub is certainly a new danger zone.
No wonder my divine spark is dying. I guess we grow old by exchanging adventure for safety. We no longer sail away, we slip away. I think about these things as I shovel a foot of snow from around my car. Twenty-five mile per hour winds blast my face with an icy mist. I realize that I am a much braver woman when I am dressed in multiple layers from head to toe and have something I can throw.
With this new insight and a tablespoon of resolve, I go inside and search the internet. OMG! Calgon still makes the magical powdery elixir. On their website, I find this reassuring description: For over 70 years, Calgon™ has been dedicated to creating uniquely exhilarating bath and body experiences that stimulate the senses, restore the spirit and take you on a special, fragrant journey to the place you want to be.
Yep, that’s the stuff, and it’s been around longer than me. Must be true or else hope dies hard.
I wait for the trucks to come by with the road salt so that I can get to the bath salts. I vow to be brave: I will trade a thimble of safety for a tub of adventure. I book my passage. I am setting sail.